Love Potion No. 9: Is Lovesickness For Real?
With Sweetest Day having just passed on Oct. 15, you may be basking in the glow of a romantic dinner or a quiet night spent at home with the object of your affections. Maybe the thought of him or her gets your heart racing, or your palms get sweaty, and you get those butterflies in your stomach. Is it lovesickness at work?
Well, you probably didn’t know it, but those signs that we associate with being smitten with someone are actual symptoms! According to a recent article, love-sickness does exist, and all those familiar sensations are its warning signs!
It turns out that that all-consuming feeling of not being able to stop thinking about your new crush is actually nature’s way of trying to play matchmaker:
Scientists have since learned that a chemical cocktail of neurotransmitters — phenethylamine, dopamine, norepinephrine and oxytocin — are at work when we fall for someone. This powerful love potion is secreted when we feel that initial attraction and serves as an amphetamine, elevating our mood, keeping senses on high alert, and helping us bond with another person.
“Falling in love affects your brain about the same way as smoking crack,” says Ethlie Ann Vare, author of “Love Addict: Sex, Romance, and Other Dangerous Drugs. “It has essentially the same effect on what’s called the reward center of the brain.”
So now that you know the trick nature is up to, make the effort to beat her at her own game. There’s no reason not to get excited about the possibility of blossoming romance, but don’t let her trick you into skipping meals, losing sleep or more dangerous, rapid weight loss.
Have you ever experienced love-sickness? How did you conquer it?
Photo credit: Gregory Jordan